Summit Scouts' Pilgrimage Sees Troop Brave the New Mexico Backcountry

Troop 67 Scouts climbed over 5,000 feet in elevation to reach the summit of the second largest mountain on Philmont Scout Ranch, Mount Phillips, peaking at 11,726 feet above see level. Back Row from left: Daniel Vandersteen, Keith Halper, Tyler Kaufman, Robert Vandersteen, Daniel Vandersteen, James Cho, Adam Dwyer, Terry Dwyer, Yon Cho Front Row from left: Jake McEvoy, Quinn Halper Credits: Yon Cho
At the working cattle ranch on Philmot Scout Ranch, Beaubien, the Scouts rode on horseback through the fields and mountains to get the real western experience. Below is Scooter, a horse with great speed and style. Credits: Adam Dwyer
During our time in Colorado getting aclimated to the incredible heights, we hiked in the Garden of the Gods, one of the natural rock formations of the desert. Behind the Scouts is a rock formation called the Siamese Twins. Back Row from left: Terry Dwyer, Adam Dwyer, Robert Vandersteen, Daniel Vandersteen, James Cho, Jake McEvoy Front Row from left: Daniel Vandersteen, Tyler Kaufman, Quinn Halper, Yon Cho Missing from photo: Keith Halper Credits: David Frieden

SUMMIT, NJ - At the beginning of July, after two years of preparation, seven Boy Scouts and their four advisors headed out to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to have a life changing adventure.

Participating Scouts included: James Cho, Jake McEvoy, Daniel Vandersteen, Robert Vandersteen, Quin Halper, Adam Dwyer, and Tyler Kaufman.  Their Adult Advisors were Keith Halper, Yon Cho, Daniel Vandersteen, and Terry Dwyer.

The Scouts are members of Troop 67 of Summit and, after two years of hard training, the Scouts arrived at Philmont Scout Ranch.  The ranch covers an astonishing 214 square miles of trails and camps donated to the Boy Scouts of America by Waite Phillips in 1942.  The Troop 67 crew climbed up to Mount Philips at 11,746 feet, and shot Shotgun at Harlan camp at 6,000 feet.  During their trek Boy Scout Troop #711-N4 completed and estimated 61 miles in Itinerary 11, the shooting trek.

During their trek, 13 year-old Troop navigator James Cho spoke a familiar refrain of, "We're almost there... 2 to 3 miles at most."  However, it almost always turned out to be more.  This was not a problem for the Scouts though, having training and endurance that helped them climb over 3,000 feet over the course of 10 days.  Fourteen year-old Jake McEvoy, who operated as Crew Leader, and Terry Dwyer, the  Lead Advisor, led and guided the group through a successful trek through the backcountry.  As a crew, they were able to hike from camp to camp with programs ranging from Black Powder Rifling to Horseback riding, and from homesteading to branding.

This year Philmont celebrated its millionth Scout to venture out into the wilderness.  With all this human impact, despite practicing leave no trace, Scouts participate in a conservation project to keep the tradition of Philmont going.  Crew 711-N4 participated in sawing limbs and clearing debris at Beaubien Camp in Central Philmont. The experience showed the crew that with teamwork anything can be accomplished.

The Scouts completed a Scouting pilgrimage that started over 75 years before.  Philmont is the largest youth camp in the world and premier Scouting High Adventure Camp.

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